Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Follow the Red Brick Road

Sometimes, when I wake and think about getting up for a run, my body feels like a bag of bricks. Mostly it's my eyes, and the bad voice in my head saying I can sleep five more minutes.

When I get up, I'm generally okay as long as I don't think too much and just leave the house. If the process of leaving the house takes longer than 6 minutes, it's basically a done deal.

Then the warm up. Now the run. Pavement, a pedestrian bridge, more cement. Brick path, to asphalt path to more bricks, sidewalk and then dirt. They say varying surfaces is good for your knees by building strength and allowing for recovery. They say. I actually like the brick. It's mostly level and gives for a dynamite stride. The shock absorption? yeah, well I don't know about that.

This course, does make me long for company. There are so many turning points that make it convenient to cut the trek short that having company helps extend the run mindlessly. A running buddy is much nicer than a race. Even if your speeds are slightly different, there's no rush. Sometimes, for me, racing feels like a panic and a pray for a happy ending. The advantage to the course is that there are always runners out. Mostly women around my age or slightly younger sprinkle the course when I get up; when I've run earlier, they're mostly older men.

What is it about the demographics of running?

And beyond that, why is running so darn attractive to some people? My mother ran. But she ran when she met my father (who is not, to any of my experience a runner, walker, trotter. He is most definitely a stroller, rather, a st-roool-ler. hear the undulation in the pace).

I love to run. I love the way my body feels after a run. I love the middle of the run when the cadence of my breath and my feet are the only things of which I'm conscious. There is no thought. I also love the sense of accomplishment. They way the entirety of the day that follows is so simple, so relative. And, that I own it. I own the good runs, the bad runs, the difficult mornings and the late nights.

My sister hates to run. And for some folks, it's harder than it is for others. Some bodies are not meant for running - fast or slowly. The chemistry lacks. And then there are the die hards in which every day is a race, every moment is a competition against the clock, against their self worth.

All I know is that I'm doing what I love and trying to do it well. (oh. and getting ready for Philly. right.)
There's no use doing anything else these days.

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